Pecan Pie

I cut this pecan pie recipe out of the Chicago Tribune in November, 1994.  The original recipe as published in the newspaper had a picture of the cook, Edgar Rose, a retired engineer; and he was holding one of the 1,000 (!) cookbooks he owns.  Now, there’s a man after my own heart.     It was clear that he had the same approach to finding the perfect recipe as I have including conducting taste panels such as we have at my work.

Edgar had thoroughly researched pecan pies until he came up with this particular recipe.  He said it was very important to cut the pecans as described because then there is more surface to get coated with sugar.  “The superiority of chopped, rather than whole, pecans lies in their ability to form a sugar-glazed, crackly topping,” said Edgar Rose in the article.  The other thing that sets his pie apart is that there is no corn syrup in it.

Pecan pie is my husband Roger’s favorite.  Once I made this, he said to throw out all the other pecan pie recipes.  I’ve made it many times for his birthday and for the holidays over the past 18 years.  Every time I would make it, I’d look at the picture of Edgar Rose, and one day I decided to see if I could find his phone number.  I did manage to find it, and I called him to tell him that his pie was my husband’s favorite.  Interestingly, I found out that Edgar and Roger share MIT as an alma mater.  We had a delightful chat, and I thanked him for sharing his wonderful recipe.  Now it’s my turn to share it with you.

One year ago:  Candy Cane Martinis

Pecan Pie

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Ingredients for Pie Crust

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening (Crisco) or lard, chilled
  • 2 tbl. cold unsalted butter
  • 3-5 tbl. (about) ice water

Directions for Pie Crust

Mix flour and salt in large bowl or in the work bowl of a food processor.  Mix to combine.  Cut in shortening and butter with a pastry blender or two knives, or on/off turns of the food processor, until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Transfer mixture to a bowl if using a food processor.

With a fork, stir in just enough water so that mixture gathers easily into a ball.  With hands, shape into a flat, round disk.  Wrap in plastic wrap.  Refrigerate at least 30 minutes.  (Can be made 1 day ahead.  Keep chilled.  Let dough soften slightly at room temperature before rolling.)

To make a partly baked crust, heat oven to 450o F.  Roll out dough between 2 sheets of floured wax paper into an 11- or 12-inch circle about 1/8-inch thick.  Remove top sheet of wax paper and fit crust into a 9-inch pie pan.  Trim and flute edge.

Line bottom of crust with a sheet of foil and fill with pie weights or dried beans or rice.  Set pie pan on a baking sheet.  Bake until crust is set and just starting to turn golden, 8 to 10 minutes.  Remove foil and pie weights and cool on a wire rack until ready to fill.

Ingredients for Pie Filling

  • 1 partly baked 9″ pie crust, recipe above
  • 1¼ cups (5 ounces) pecan halves
  • 4 extra-large eggs
  • pinch salt
  • 1 tsp. each:  dark rum, pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) packed light brown sugar
  • 4 tbl. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • Sweetened, vanilla-flavored whipped cream for serving

Directions for Pie Filling

Prepare pie crust.  Heat oven to 350o.  Cut each pecan in half lengthwise and twice crosswise; set aside.

Lightly whisk eggs in a large bowl.  Add salt, rum and vanilla; mix lightly.  Add sugar; beat until combined.  Stir in melted butter.

Sprinkle nuts over bottom of prepared crust.

Pour filling over nuts.

Bake at 350o for 20 minutes.  Reduce oven temperature to 250o.  Continue baking until the center is just barely set, 20 to 30 minutes longer.  Cover crust if turning too brown.  Cool completely on wire rack before serving.

Serve with a dollop of sweetened whipped cream if desired.

Source:   A recipe by Edgar Rose as published in the Chicago Tribune

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